Every year, come Christmas, I get nostalgic. Thanks to my convent school education, it is indeed my most favourite festival in the year. All I really want to do is go back in time, to my school days and relive the wonderful Christmas celebrations we had. Decorating the playroom, lots of carol singing, putting up the nativity play (I have proudly played the part of Joseph on two occasions at least), waiting for Santa (typically the tallest girl from the tenth standard) to distribute gifts and finally, getting a sip of Christmas wine in a one of those really tiny shot glasses. Ah, the good old days!
These days, Christmas time is more of a ‘Where can I head to for the holiday season?’ type of festival. For me atleast. Or if I am in town, I wait in the hope that one of my Christian friends loves me enough to invite me home for a gorgeous Christmas feast. And considering it hasn’t happened so far, I have decided to celebrate it all by myself, with a little help from my friends. And in my efforts to bring in the Christmas cheer, here are my three favourite ways to celebrate.
1. Put up a Christmas tree
No, you don’t really need to go hunting for actual trees. You could buy one of those plastic ones that you find aplenty outside Infant Jesus church in Ejipura. Or you could make your very own using plastic bottles, beer cans and what not. Here’s where you can get inspired. Or you could build your very own Christmas tree using books and magazines you have at home. String some fairy lights around it and you are all set. And if you are unable to find a star to put on top, you could instead elevate the status of your favourite curio and make it the star.
2. Stock your pantry with Christmas goodies
Try your hand at baking – mince pies, gingerbread cookies, cupcakes – there’s so much you can do. You could also whip up a mean eggnog to go with the food.
And if you are not really one to bake, you could very well order from the multitude of bakeries and confectionery stores in the city. Thoms, All Saints and Koshy’s have some super-yum goodies on offer. While I certainly will be paying to visit to each of them to stock up on cake, The Bakeaway, a home bakery that’s looking to bring back the classic high tea experience in fashion, is my goto place for comforting Christmas food this season.
3. Volunteer with the Robin Hood Army
This is one of my favourite finds of the year. While the Robin Hood Army does not steal from the rich, it does give to the poor. This Facebook community of youngsters works with restaurants to get surplus food across to the less fortunate people in cities across India. This winter they are also calling for people to distribute anything to people who need it more than you. It could be anything – blankets, food, even a warm hug! So go ahead and #BeRobinThisChristmas!
Wish you a very, merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Citizen Matters!